San Jose City Council aims to make minimum wage $15

Byby Lonni Rivera via KGO logo
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

Bay Area cities are on the fast track to raise the minimum wage to $15 ahead of the state's 2022 deadline, but some say that the city of San Jose is dragging it's feet.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Bay Area cities are on the fast track to raise the minimum wage to $15 ahead of the state's 2022 deadline.

RELATED: Berkeley city council approves $15 hour minimum wage increase

Right now, San Francisco is one of the highest at $13 per hour.

Oakland will go up to $12.86 in January and San Jose is still at $10 an hour, the state's minimum wage.

All are hoping to make it to $15 an hour by 2019 or earlier.

A minimum wage increase to $15 by 2019 is what San Jose City Council members are set to vote on Tuesday afternoon. Many advocates say this wage hike is long overdue in Silicon Valley's largest city.

All of the members of the San Jose City Council agree on the wage increase, but the timeline is what is really up for debate.

The 4th Street pizza company in Downtown San Jose has 35 employees. The owner of this small business sees the pros and cons of a $15 wage hike by 2019.

"With how expensive everything is in this area, people need a living wage," said owner Josh McGhie. "You know I also see, it turns into a cycle where restaurants have to raise their prices, and other stuff gets raised."

That means higher prices on the menu to absorb the cost of raising salaries for his employees, but outside this pizza shop advocates say a wage hike is long overdue in San Jose.

Back in 2010, Scott Meyers Lipton led San Jose State students in the fight for 15 movement. Lipton says the city is dragging its feet with what began as a so-called 'regional approach.'

"In six weeks from now Mountain View and Sunnyvale are going to go to $13," says Lipton "So we're going to be, we're at 10.40 going up, they're going to 13. By July we'll go to 11 something or 12. That's too late."

Mayor Sam Liccardo says he's confident about the broad support for the wage increase, but details of the timeline still need to be ironed out.

"Whether or not teenagers under the age of 18 might be exempt for example," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, "Whether we start in July or January, the good news is that we have broad consensus about the need to raise a wage."

RELATED: Study shows benefits to raising minimum wage in San Jose

San Jose city leaders are meeting to finalize the language of the minimum wage hike proposal.

Click here for more stories on minimum wage.